Man pleads guilty to assaulting woman ‘he was trying to cuddle with’
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POCATELLO — A Pocatello man pleaded guilty Wednesday to assaulting a woman he says he was trying to cuddle with.
Paul Flatland, 29, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery before Magistrate Judge Thomas Clark. Pocatello Police arrested Flatland on Dec. 20, 2019, after a woman told investigators he sexually assaulted her the day before. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors amended the charge from misdemeanor domestic battery.
Despite the amended charge, Clark ordered Flatland to undergo a domestic violence evaluation.
In a probable cause affidavit obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, the victim said she and Flatland were involved in a physical disturbance. She said he held her down, tried removing her clothes and sexually assaulted her while she tried to fight back. Flatland fled from the home by the time police arrived.
The woman showed investigators photos of bruising from another domestic attack on Dec. 9 when she says Flatland picked her up and pushed her against a wall, according to court documents.
When police spoke with Flatland, he said he tried cuddling with the woman when they fell to the floor. He denied the physical altercation went any further.
Flatland made headlines in 2016 when his 1-year-old daughter drowned in the bathtub while his ex-wife, Kelsee Flatland, was on her phone. She pleaded guilty to felony injury to a child and spent time in jail. Police said Paul Flatland had no knowledge the infant was in the bathtub while he was downstairs playing video games.
Paul Flatland later told EastIdahoNews.com he was not playing video games but was working in the garage. Prosecutors did not charge him in connection to the infant’s death.
Sentencing for Flatland is scheduled for March 3. The maximum sentence for misdemeanor battery is up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.